Coronavirus (817) The Lancet COVID-19 Commission (3) Personal health data

12 July, 2020

As well as collecting and disseminating accurate and relevant scientific analysis and research data during a pandemic, personal health data needs to be collected, rapidly researched and analysed through medical records. There is a saying that one cannot manage a process (in this case a novel virus) if one cannot measure it.

We hope that a global public conversation about the global secondary use of personal health data continues apace. Researchers should benefit from rapid access to clinical data during a pandemic but the proportional balance of information governance, globally, has a way to go. How do we balance the awards and benefits if the personal data processing? There is an excellent debate on this issue at Lord's Select Committee "Artificial intelligence - is it good for our health."

The Wellcone Trust hosts an English language portal - understandingpatientdata.org.uk - that explains and supports the development of a societally acceptable, transparent dynamic secondary use of personal health data for research purposes.

HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP, British Medical Association. Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data

Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT gmail.com